Transcript: Hey CBF family, thanks for coming to this month’s meeting. It’s going to be an interesting one.
I just wanted to share a thought from the Word before we get into the teaching right after this. I’d like to frame it this way. The firm I work for, Van Kampen Funds, there was a time for 8 years (in the over 20 years I was there) we were owned by Xerox. We were owned by the Xerox Corporation, and at the time they were into, big, the whole concept of total quality programs. All the big corporations in America were into that. We were having trouble competing with the Japanese in manufacturing. It kind of drove them over into these programs.
Let me sum it for you. I’ll summarize it for you, because it’s kind of interesting. The whole idea of those programs, which really took in their whole firm, was this: you have got to make your product or service better all the time. It’s all about the quality of the product, it’s all about the quality of the service versus your competitors. Frankly, that’s a good thing no matter what size business you’re in. You really should have your minds on that. Is my product, is my service, is my value proposition (which you’re going to hear about today) getting better all the time? That’s really what that was about.
I was a young guy and I had just come to know the Lord. Our pastor had preached upon, the week before, the importance of walking in the Spirit. We’re not supposed to walk in the flesh; we need to be walking in the Spirit. So I’m sitting in this meeting and they’re talking about quality, and one of the big tenets of it was this – it was the concept of benchmarking. You have to know, versus your competitors, where you stand in really most everything.
Xerox, to the half a second of what it took to put a screw in a copier versus their competitors, they knew that. So they were driving all the time, driving all the time for better quality, and a big part of that was the benchmarking thing. Here was a thought that really struck me: if you can measure it, you can improve it. If you can’t measure it, you either can’t or probably won’t improve it.
I was sitting there and I was thinking, I need to walk in the Spirit and not the flesh; and the other thought that I had was, if you can’t measure it, you can’t really know.
Here’s the thought that came to my mind, the question that came to my mind, practical basis: am I walking in the Spirit today? How do I know if I’m walking in the Spirit today versus the flesh? The Word of God really has something to say about that in a very detailed, granular way. You know what it is. You go to Galatians 5:23, it says this: “But the fruit of the Spirit is…” And there’s nine words: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Those nine words.
The Lord wants us to know if we’re walking in the Spirit and not the flesh, and whatever’s going on on the inside is going to come out on the outside. It is possible – business is pressured, business is competitive, you have to do hard things – but you can do them in a kind way. You can do them in a gentle way according to what your personality is. You could do it in a patient way.
What I did, and here’s the practical application. This is your homework today from me. It will take you a good 30 seconds to a minute. Just do this – and I did this and I’ve done it for years. Take those nine words right there and write them on an index card like this. Just put them on your desk or tape them up somewhere, and throughout the course of the day, ask yourself this question. “Hey, am I patient today? Am I kind today? Am I gentle today? Do I have a sense of joy? Do I have a sense of peace?” And really, the umbrella one that pulls them all together, “Am I self-controlled?” When we are out of control, we cost ourselves a lot of success and a lot of blessings.
That’s my thought for today. Let’s be walking in the Spirit and not the flesh as we’re going about the hard things we have to do.
Thanks for coming today. You know what we’re going for here at CBF; we’re going for business excellence with an eternal perspective.